Cigarette Smoke: Charcoal Filters Reduce Components That Inhibit Growth of Cultured Human Cells

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Science  30 Oct 1964:
Vol. 146, Issue 3644, pp. 642-644
DOI: 10.1126/science.146.3644.642


Water-soluble components of total cigarette smoke inhibit cell growth and protein synthesis by the KB line of human cells. The cytotoxic components were in both the gas phase and the particulate phase of smoke. Conventional filters of cellulose acetate reduced cytotoxicity of the particulate phase in proportion to the weight of particles trapped, that is, they did not alter the specific activity of the particulate phase. Appropriately designed filters containing activated charcoal granules selectively reduced cytotoxic components in cigarette smoke which would have appeared in both phases, although the reduction, as anticipated, occurred to a greater extent in the gas phase.